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Think Tanks

Latest Articles

Your words are not your own

Plagiarism is a serious charge.
Less Otten. More Originality.
By AL DIAMON  |  May 14, 2010

Tanked

The term "think tank" looks as if it signifies something impressive.
A few guppies short
By AL DIAMON  |  March 19, 2010
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Chafee and the hazards of a bold politics

By the time a candidate for major office steps up to the microphone to officially declare for the seat, everyone already knows his intentions.
 Tax Dept.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 08, 2010

A veteran TV reporter tries something new

Months after leaving ABC6, investigative reporter Jim Hummel was chatting about his future over lunch with public relations guru Dante Bellini. Plans to take up with WJAR's news team, long the ratings leader in the Providence market, had evaporated wit
On the Air
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  October 16, 2009
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State House status

Rhode Island voters, for all their supposed insularity, are an increasingly progressive bunch.
In a purportedly liberal state, the Rhode Island General Assembly has a stubbornly conservative bent. But can progressive politics make a dent in 2010?
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  August 14, 2009
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Granite grind

Much of New England joined the march toward marriage equality this year, but in the comparably conservative Granite State, its legalization has heated up a partisan battle for control of the governorship in 2010, promising that this political war isn't
Same-sex marriage ignites partisan battle in New Hampshire
By ASHLEY RIGAZIO  |  August 07, 2009


Cicilline, the firefighters, and the politics of protest

It is, on some level, hard to pick any winners in the li'l Rhody's latest battle royale.
Citywatch
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 19, 2009

Stickin' it to the poor

The Maine Heritage Policy Center, a right-wing Portland think tank, has been bragging in news releases about how state leaders have followed its advice, approving a two-year state-government budget that, among other cuts, slashes school aid, programs fo
Right wing celebrates state budget
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  June 05, 2009
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Is the party over for the GOP in RI?

In a state known for its political obsessions, there is remarkably little in the way of rabid protest here.
A disastrous election in '08. A depleted war chest. Dismal approval ratings for the outgoing governor. Yet the faithful see hope for a Republican revival
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 15, 2009
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Eyes on the prize

We interrupt the Lincoln Chafee buzz fest to bring you this little nugget of news: there are a few Democrats who'd like to be governor, too.  
Hold on, Linc Chafee! Dems Frank Caprio, Patrick Lynch, and Elizabeth Roberts would also like to be governor in 2010
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 24, 2009

Here it comes again

Is it possible to tax stupidity? If so, Maine could generate enough revenue to eliminate the income tax, property tax, excise tax, inheritance tax, and sales tax.
Gov. Baldacci's stupid approach to tax reform.
By AL DIAMON  |  March 04, 2009


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Sox to win 98 in '09?

Stat savant Nate Silver, widely lauded for foretelling the 2008 election in detail, was a baseball geek first.
Statistically Speaking
By MIKE MILIARD  |  February 25, 2009

I wanna know all about you

Here at the Hernia Hill Institute of Unquantifiable Econometrics and Daytime Drinking, internationally renowned scholars are constantly thinking about Maine's fiscal crisis. Except during happy hour.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  February 18, 2009

What is to be done about transmission?

When thinking about improving electricity transmission, a few concepts come to mind.

By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  February 13, 2009
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The wrong man for hard times

Most Democrats see Barack Obama’s inauguration as a clear-cut, welcome turn to the left.
State House Democrats need to stand up to the governor
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  February 04, 2009
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Hey guv: stop slashing!

It seems as if there’s no light at the end of the state’s gloomy fiscal tunnel.
State budget cuts just make the recession worse
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  December 31, 2008


Ideas and optimism, plus more reports!

Last Friday, at the annual GrowSmart summit held at the Augusta Civic Center, more than 500 people checked in on Maine’s progress.  
Grow smarter
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  October 16, 2008
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Scott takes another bite at the Kennedy apple

Anyone running against a Kennedy can count on a very stiff challenge.
Talking Politics
By IAN DONNIS  |  June 11, 2008

The loud business drumbeat

The majority legislative Dems do not share Baldacci’s enthusiasm for these cuts, but they seem resigned to them.
Who really cares about the poor, the sick, the elderly, or the mentally ill? Keep searching.
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 30, 2008

Committee of onions and failure

To help me decide on a topic for this week’s column, I assembled a blue-ribbon commission.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  January 02, 2008
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Conservative group lands Norquist for fundraiser

Grover Norquist is probably best known for saying, “My goal is to cut government in half in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”
Talking politics
By IAN DONNIS  |  November 19, 2007


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Guinea pigs

The stakes are clear: if the system works well in Massachusetts, odds are that the nation will follow. If it fails here, this approach dies.
The future of the nation’s health-care reform rests on the tattooed shoulders of Massachusetts’s young adults
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  October 31, 2007

Hustlenomics

All human beings are born with an innate sense that they’re fiscally responsible.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  October 24, 2007
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It can happen here

The American Society of Civil Engineers almost three years ago issued a catalogue of pressing needs related to Massachusetts infrastructure.
The Minneapolis bridge collapse should be a wake-up call. Plus, a Congressional disgrace.
By EDITORIAL  |  August 08, 2007
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Bush's secret army

The 9/11 attacks provided a catalyst: an unprecedented justification to forge ahead with a radical agenda molded by a small cadre of neoconservative operatives.
Meet the American mercenaries of Blackwater, who fight outside of the law and take direction from the radical Christian right
By JEREMY SCAHILL  |  March 21, 2007

Tabor won

If you had joined Maine’s leading liberals in kicking off the legislative session at their annual public-policy gab-fest in early January, you would have been excused for thinking the conservatives were actually the hosts.
The liberals embrace defeat (a/k/a Baldacci)
By LANCE TAPLEY  |  January 17, 2007


We don’t need to whisper

My New Year’s resolutions.
Politics and other mistakes
By AL DIAMON  |  January 03, 2007
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Deval’s dance with labor

One of the most revealing currents political observers will soon be watching is how Governor Deval Patrick deals with organized labor.
Unions spent more to help get Deval Patrick elected than he did. But does that mean he’s in their pocket?
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  December 13, 2006
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Can Mitt win?

To understand why Mitt Romney’s dream of capturing the Republican presidential nomination is not far-fetched, you first have to understand what Rudy Giuliani is doing — or rather, not doing.
Romney’s chances of winning the GOP presidential nod hinge on conservatives’ hatred of John McCain
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  November 21, 2006
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Unvarnished

Maine is at a unique crossroads.
In search of authentic Maine
By SARA DONNELLY  |  September 27, 2006